House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters he thought it was shocking Cheney would accept the invite

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Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney
| Credit: Tom Williams/getty

Rep. Liz Cheney is defying her colleagues in the Republican Party once again, this time accepting an invite to join as a leader on the newly announced Jan. 6 Commission investigating the U.S. Capitol attack.

"I'm honored to serve," Cheney, 54, said in a statement released Thursday.

"Our oath to the Constitution must be above partisan politics," the Wyoming lawmaker added.

Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has come head-to-head with other conservatives in recent months over her continued, vocal criticism of former President Donald Trump's behavior around the insurrection.

After initially supporting her, the GOP has overwhelmingly disavowed Cheney — ousting her from leadership — as Trump began to single her out for being one of 10 Republicans to vote in favor of impeaching him in January for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot.

Cheney has remained steadfast in calling out Trump and, as her national profile has increased, even insinuated she would consider running for president in 2024 just to throw a wrench in Trump's plans.

"The nation needs a strong Republican Party, the nation needs a party that is based upon fundamental principles of conservatism," Cheney said after being replaced as the party's top woman in office. "And I am committed and dedicated to ensuring that that's how this party goes forward and I plan to lead the fight to do that."

Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney
| Credit: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

On Thursday, she accepted an invite from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, and joined the recently formed Jan. 6 Commission, which will include lawmakers of both parties.

The group is modeled off of the 9/11 Commission, Pelosi has said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters he thought it was shocking Cheney would accept the invite from Pelosi, 81.

"Maybe she's closer to her than us," McCarthy, 56, quipped.

While Trump allies criticized Cheney online, some former and current GOP lawmakers came to her defense.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who also voted to impeach Trump in January, called it "fantastic news" that Cheney would be on the Jan. 6 commission.

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman directly responded to McCarthy's claims: "It was 'shocking' to see 'Republicans' siege the Capitol based on disinformation & lies perpetuated by leaders in the GOP who embraced trolls, grifters & Q crazies," he tweeted.

The 13-member committee will be made up by the eight lawmakers selected by Pelosi on Thursday as well as five members chosen in "consultation" with McCarthy, according to MSNBC. That likely means five more Republicans will be selected to join the commission with Cheney.

"We have an obligation to have a thorough, sober investigation of what happened leading up to January 6th and the attack on the Capitol on that day," Cheney said. "So, I'm honored to be chosen."